Windows Debugger or WinDbg Tool gets new features and a UI

The Windows Debugger or WinDbg Tool can be used to debug kernel and user mode code, analyze crash dumps and to examine the CPU registers as the code executes. Microsoft recently announced a preview version of a new WinDbg with many new features and some major changes. In this post, we will learn about what new has been announced in WinDbg.

New features of WinDbg

Windows Debugger or WinDbg Tool
Simpler and less intimidating

WinDbg is often found quite intimidating, but the new version is said to be less intimidating with a better and simple interface. The tool is specifically re-designed for the beginners to help them understanding.

Earlier it was a bit difficult for the new users to get convenient with the toolbar or menu. But, the new version has a Ribbon which includes which currently is plain, but will soon be getting the specific contexts while you are debugging.

The new File Menu is simpler, and users can easily select the options before you start with the debugging session. The attach dialog is also made simpler and more organized now. You can also launch some background tasks or your Store App without setting up with PLMDebug.exe.

Improvements and Modernizations

After quite a while, WinDbg has some quality improvements and modernization which include a darker theme, some window improvements, and the recent targets.

Dropping the glaring brightness, WinDbg now comes with a dark theme which is preferred by most of the users. The new version of WinDbg now will remember all your settings and the recent debugging sessions instead of having your IP and KDNET on a sticky-note on your monitor. All your recent sessions now will be logged in the File Menu as your recent target list.

Microsoft has now made the windows more synchronous and also lets the users cancel the loading by running another command. There are various other window improvements listed too.

Data model

Data model up until now was accessible only through the dx command and JavaScript, but with the WinDbg preview the data model is more extensible powering the locals and watch windows. JavaScript extensions and NatVis will now be reflected in those windows.

WinDbg preview comes with a new window termed as a modal window which will help you with your own modules window with @$scurssion.Modules. It will also show up the results of any model query in a table or a hierarchy view.

The WinDbg comes with a built-in scripting environment where you can write and execute your NatVis and JavaScript directly from the debugger.

While the new features and improvements are announced by Microsoft via their blog, the WinDbg is still a preview version and comes with some restrictions. Only the devices running Windows 10 Anniversary Update can install it via Windows Store.

The workspace of the new WinDbg Preview has changed a lot and is quite different and better from the previous version, but since it is a preview version, there might be some bugs and errors too which will be taken care of.

You can read the details on

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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